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It was a dominant performance by the men in yellow who made it three wins in a row after a minor blip in the first match of the tournament. The Chennai Super Kings bowlers were clinical in all departments. Their bowlers restricted the Mumbai Indians for 141, and the batsmen chased down the target without any hiccups. Mohit Sharma was the pick of the bowlers who took top honours by claiming four wickets in as many overs. Young Ishwar Pandey too did his bit of controlling the run flow at one end as Ben Hilfenhaus claimed two in his four overs.
Hilfenhaus is almost like a leader of the young pace attack who according to him are getting better with each game. In this quick chat with IPLT20.com, Hilfenhaus talks about his role in the Chennai Super Kings pace attack and tells us how you can never stop learning from the game of cricket.
Excerpts from the interview…
Three back-to-back wins for the team, CSK back to doing what they best, winning games.
Yes definitely, it was a great performance from the boys tonight. It is nice to be on a roll in T20 cricket and it is good to be on that roll at the moment. Hopefully we can just continue that for the rest of the tournament.
Personally how good are you feeling about your bowling this season?
I have not been bad at times I would say. There are certain things that I feel I need to improve at. It gets tough to spend time in the nets when you have such a hectic schedule but hopefully we can keep improving in those couple of days between matches.
Tonight you got your former CSK teammate Michael Hussey for 1. Knowing Hussey and his game all these years what was the plan that you stuck to while bowling at him?
It is always nice to get Hussey’s wicket. He is such a dangerous player and to pick him cheaply like we did set the ball rolling for us. It is nice to starve him for runs. I just tried to stay away from his strengths and got lucky at the end of the day. He is such a good player. In T20 cricket all you can do is control the areas where you want to bowl or else the batsmen will charge you or slog you and you will go for runs.
With young bowlers like Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma, have you been given the role of leading the pace attack?
I wouldn’t say I have been given the role, but I am definitely there to help them out and help them grow as fast bowlers. They both are developing really well and they have stood up in the first initial days of the tournament and done well. These are exciting times for Chennai Super Kings.
Do you also learn in the process while helping these youngsters on their game?
In this game you are always learning. I am still trying to learn things and you never know everything about this game. Sometimes by actually thinking about their game or my game I learn in the process. Hopefully I continue to keep improving and go from there.
Tonight you picked up two wickets but were on the expensive side. How do you plan to become more economical in the games to come?
I have always tried to be as economical as possible. I leaked too many runs tonight but you know that’s T20 cricket. You bowl well and go for a few some days and you bowl poorly and don’t go for as many. The idea is to keep controlling every ball you bowl and hope that you bowl a dot (Laughs).
You have played under MS Dhoni’s captaincy all these years for CSK. Has he changed as a captain with time?
He has not changed at least since the time I have been around. He is good to play under and there are exciting times ahead.
He shot to fame when he surpassed Shahid Afridi’s 17-year old record of the fastest ODI ton. New Zealand’s Corey Anderson was a star immediately and earned a reputation of a hard-hitting batsman who had the capabilities to decimate any bowling attack. He was young, his stroke play was clean and he was fearless.
He was the talk of the town even before the IPL had started and there was a feeling that most IPL franchises would be eager to get Corey the all-rounder in their side. Mumbai Indians won the bid for the young Kiwi all-rounder and immediately there were expectations; from fans and the owners.
It has not been the best of starts for Anderson though. Three games into the competition and Anderson has not yet set the stage on fire. On Friday night though Anderson gave a glimpse of his form as he steadied his way to a 31-ball 39. He took a great catch to dismiss Chennai Super Kings opener Dwayne Smith early in the innings and kept his energy levels high through the game. In this post match chat with IPLT20.com, Anderson speaks about coming to terms with the Pepsi IPL, his conversations with Zaheer Khan and his eagerness to succeed for his franchise.
Excerpts from the interview…
Three losses from three games, lot of work to do for the team.
It is a slow start for the team, we had a bit of a break and we expected things to change a little bit but we did not score enough runs tonight. We didn’t have a good big innings, but it is no excuse. We got to work harder and we got to come out fighting harder again. We just have to come out and win a couple of games and I am sure we will get going from there.
What did you do differently tonight after scores of 2 and 18 in the first two innings?
I spent a lot more time in the nets and a lot more time with the coaches and was trying to get a grasp on playing in these conditions. It takes time for anyone to sort of get used to the conditions. I am trying to find out my rhythm and time in the middle which always helps. Tonight unfortunately I got out when I was just beginning to get going. On another day it might have come off and hopefully it will soon.
How much expectation does the Mumbai Indians franchise have from you with the kind of abilities you have showcased recently in international cricket?
There is huge level of expectation regardless of who you are. If you are in the playing XI then you put an expectation on yourself to do well. If you don’t want to do well then you are not playing for the right reason. There is a level of pride that you want to take yourself through and hold yourself in a good manner.
How much have you spoken to Zaheer Khan about your bowling?
I have spoken to Zak a few times and he is a master in what he does. He is so good to have in the team and him specially being a left-armer obviously helps. At the moment my bowling is not coming out quite like I would want to but I guess it is just the beginning. This is T20 cricket and you have bad days and you have good days. I will keep working on it and I will just chip in where I have to.
As the tournament progresses your batting abilities will be tested in turning tracks, how much has the presence of Anil Kumble helped in that context?
He has been of great help. Facing quality spinners in the competition is of massive help. I am playing some of the best spinners in the world. I also face quality spinners in the nets and this will definitely help me to play spin bowling better in the matches to come.
Is there a Corey Anderson style of batting?
I am not too sure about that to be honest with you. Different situations call for different things and I am someone who plays the power game. I am required to come out and bang a couple of shots and I guess that is what I will do. Today I was promoted up the order at No.3 and had to build a partnership and calm down a little bit. I will do what the team requires me to do and punish a few on the way.
Fastest ODI century, can we expect the fastest T20 century from you as the tournament progresses?
I am not too sure about that one. I have told a lot of people that you don’t expect to do certain things, things just happen. I am not expecting to do that here or do it faster. It will be awesome if I could. If I can pull myself to win matches for Mumbai Indians then I am doing my job.
How are you looking to make the most of this IPL experience?
It is a star studded line-up. Right from the players to the support staff you have the best in the business. For a youngster like me who hasn’t played heaps of international cricket; to rub shoulders with some of the legends of the game is unbelievable. I am trying to sort of soak up everything I can at the moment and grasp as much as I can this season.
Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Kieron Pollard, David Warner. Can we add Corey Anderson in that list?
Hopefully I can belong to that list. I am not playing well at the moment but if I can pull my part of doing the job well for the team I would be more than happy.